Belles Tripped Up by Scots
ALMA, Mich. - The Saint Mary's volleyball team (1-4, 0-1 MIAA) ended on the short side of 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 25-13) final in their conference opener on Tuesday night.
The Belles battled their way back in the opening set to take their first lead at 16-15 before moving ahead 17-15 on a service ace by Meredith Mersits as neither team held more than a four-point advantage. The teams traded points back and forth before the Scots knotted the set at 18-18. Saint Mary's quickly regained the lead, but Alma took back-to-back points for a 20-19 advantage. Kati Schneider pounded down a kill and Meaghan Gibbons served an ace to put the Belles back ahead 21-20. A four-point run by the Scots, however, was too much to overcome too late in the set as Alma claimed the opener 25-22.
The second set was controlled by the Belles as Saint Mary's never trailed while the Scots merely managed to tie the score four times throughout the stanza. With the set tied at 10-10, the Belles took advantage of a service ace, a solo block by Melanie Kuczek, an ace by Schneider, and an attack error to regain a lead they would not relinquish. Saint Mary's maintained at least a three-point cushion over the Scots on their way to a 25-17 second set win.
In the third set, Saint Mary's came back from a pair of five-point deficits to tie the score at 17-17. Both teams jockeyed for momentum and the lead before Alma was able to put together a spurt of three points for a 22-19 advantage. The Belles got a point back, but the Scots closed out the set with three straight points for a 2-1 overall lead.
The fourth set saw the Scots carry over their momentum from the third-set win. After the Belles came back from an early deficit, Alma turned an 8-6 score into a 12-6 score. Saint Mary's edged back within three points at 15-12, forcing the Scots into a timeout. Another four-point run, however, gave Alma a 19-12 advantage and propelled the Scots to the 25-13 win to clinch the match.
Kati Schneider led Saint Mary's with 11 kills on the night. Meaghan Gibbons had a team-best 16 digs, and Katie Hecklinski added 11 digs for the Belles.
The Belles (1-4, 0-1 MIAA) return to conference action on Friday, September 5 when they host Olivet in their home opener starting at 7:00 p.m.